John Thiesen: New Lighting

Thiesen has recently moved into rustic, Arts & Crafts-inspired lighting; his company Custom Furniture & Fabrication has been offering furniture and cabinets for over 30 years.


Left: John Thiesen is an accomplished artisan in many fields.
Right: The rustic lamp with birch-bark shade and slag glass is from John’s new business, ADK Adirondack Craftsman Lighting.

Judging from his body of work, John Thiesen has never met a building material or technique he didn’t like. A self-taught cabinetmaker, John designs and builds furniture, cabinets, and millwork in traditional styles from early American to Mission to Art Deco. His furniture designs may include veneer work, inlay, bent wood, hand turnings, hand-cut dovetails, upholstery—he’s also restored vintage car interiors!—leaded glass, and metalwork.



A three-pendant light in two shades of mica displays John’s unique, carved drop chains.

John’s repertoire ranges from turned burlwood bowls to entire kitchens, fireplace mantels, and staircases. But recently, he launched ADK Adirondack Craftsman Lighting after discovering the Arts & Crafts lamps of rustic builder and artist Earl Covey on a trip to New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Thiesen’s first two lighting designs sold successfully at a rustic furniture fair in Blue Mountain Lake. Since then, he has developed more than 20 designs for table, floor, wall, and ceiling lamps, many of which he’ll bring to the show.


Thiesen also builds furniture in traditional styles, like this cherry cabinet.

While most of his table lamps are built with white oak bases and mica shades, he’s also created designs with spalted maple or finished with birch bark. Recently he added stained-glass shades for some styles. Many of his fixtures, including sconces, pendants, and shower-style chandeliers, lean toward the Mission style. Interlocking drop chains carved out of wood are an especially unusual detail, on pendants and chandeliers.

Meet John Thiesen and see examples of his furniture, cabinetry, and new lighting at the Designer Craftsmen Show at the Valley Forge Casino Resort, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Feb. 6 – 8, 2015.

Custom Furniture & Fabrication
Adirondack Craftsman Lighting

(716) 652-6218
11124 Carpenter Rd.
South Wales, NY 14139
www.customfurnitureandfab.com